Boy did you touch on my pet project of winter 2004!!This is a critical adjustment that can make or break the ultimate performance of this arm.I spent the good part of winter into spring RE-LEARNING to dial in these parameters.What I'm really refering to is the CRITICAL FLUID LEVEL!Obviously the adjustments for anti-skate/VTA/downforce/and azimuth are critical,but,it is the amount of fluid in the bearing that really brings out the supreme level of performance that this arm is capable of,IN A HIGH RES SET-UP.What I find so frustrating is the fact that the mainstream audio press has never been really specific as to just how critical it is.Afterall,this arm is very popular,and,has been discussed(in length)on numerous occassions.I guess they are too busy pushing Home Theater to the YUPPIES that will ultimately own SKY BOXES (BIG BUCKS)in the proposed JETS STADIUM,in NYC,that will ultimately push out all the "REAL" fans.The same way the audio press is pandering to the "JUST GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE CROWD".Hoping to SHILL some 5.1 stuff.What about those CLASSIC covers of old TAS issues that were printed in TAS.Those audio journals really catered to the true hobbyist.Now we are a forgotten breed and must use forums like this to find out technical stuff that used to be covered regularly.Those that go back a ways know what I'm griping about.Afterall in"The analog Column"of a famous audio journal,the reviewer,who owns this exact arm, has never been specific in lettimg the reader know anything about the INCREDIBLE SENSITIVITY OF THE FLUID LEVEL.All that had been mentioned was,from my memory here,"the fluid should be about half way up the bearing shaft".I have found that going up and down a pinhead at a time results in clearly audible changes that you will recognize immediately!Why this could not be mentioned in one of the Audio Mags is a mystery to me,but, I have a sneaky suspicion that these so called reviewers never experimented to this degree, to find out.Too many new updates for them to keep up with?So, they never get to the actual EXACT SETTING?Believe me there is No approximate setting with the Graham(2.0 or 2.2,I have no familiarity with the Phantom),but,once you have learned to play around with the "RUBIC'S CUBE personality of the Graham,you will find that when it is dialed into an EXACT SWEET SPOT,you KNOW IT!OK.Let's get specific.Firstly I'm going to assume that you have your arm set correctly regarding Azimuth and correct antiskate(easy to do).Even though you ask about the fluid level,only,the fact is that there is a definite correlation between fluid as well as downforce,and VTA.I read a fine article last year in HI FI NEWS that discussed in length the effect of downforce on VTA and visa versa.This started me thinking about what I was hearing in my system,as well as some of my friend's set-ups.I have a friend with an air bearing arm (AIR TANGENT).It always frustrated me that every time I heard my records on his set-up there was an INCREDIBLE lack of a subtle grainy thinness,that I have come to idetify as groove distortion.I believe that some of the colorations we hear in an analog rig,are actually these distortions,which are easy to confuse with those of what we think other components are adding!Obviously other things,in my friend's set-up could be helping,but,because I'm so familiar with his rig,and the fact that I have pretty good stuff,I've come to these conclusions by TORMENTING MYSELF in trying to find the secret within the Graham's fluid level.There were many occassions,on Saturday evenings,when I had my wife screaming at me to "shut off the stereo or we'll be late for a dinner engagement".I always needed to hear one more piece of Oboe material or flute,for the airyness in the players breath when you have it right,or massed voices etc.It was a "REAL NIGHTMARE" and, I LOVED IT!!I want to stress that in order to get the fluid level EXACT(as it MUST be)you must SLIGHTLY RE-ADJUST THE vta AND DOWNFORCE EACH TIME YOU MAKE A slight change.iF YOU CARTRIDGE HAS A RECOMMENDED FORCE OF BETWEEN 1.7 AND 2.2 GRAMS,START AT ABOUT 2.0.vta WILL HAVE TO BE DONE BY EAR,SINCE THER IS no EXACT SPOT.Start with the armtube parallel to the record.The fluid level should be set slightly under halfway on the bearing shaft.Ultimately, you are going to be better off with the level slightly lower,since this will open up the sound and increase bass.There is a resonant signature from too little fluid.Don't worry. Experimenrt as you play music and you will soon be able to make chamges,ALWAYS slight,on the fly.You will ultimately become intimately familiar with how the 3 parameters(VTA/downforce/Fluid level)all work in conjunction with one another.If you have a bit of undershoot in fluid,and you don't want to add anymore(since too much overdamps the sound)you can add a tiny bit of downforce to compensate.Remember to only work with TINY amounts of adjustments at a time.Always stay within the recommended parameters on downforce.The fluid should,MUST,be added or subtracted a PINHEAD at a time.It is that critical!!!Don't worry,you will get the feel quickly.Vta can be moved up or down until it sounds open and clean.ALL three variables,as I've stated work in proportion to oneanother.This whole procedure will take MULTIPLE LISTENING SESSIONS.Just when you think you have it right,you probably DON'T.As I said multiple sessions.Remember,and I'm not kidding,though it sounds crazy,"the fluid HATES YOU".It is SO critical to work in adding or subtracting PINHEADS AT A TIME,THAT YOU WON'T BELIEVE IT.I really believe that those who have been unhappy with this GREAT arm never mastered this.I don't really blame them.It has taken me and my friend's who have it ages to realize how critical dialing in all 3 parameters TOGETHER are.Every time we think the fluid level is perfect,some other complex LP brings out an area where it needs further tuning.This is a fact!Patience will reward you,and you will easily learn to listen for the types of inner groove distortions that will help you to identify problem areas in other systems(analog based,of course).It may be a pain in the ass,but will be an education as well.I was invited to my Air Tangent pal's house recently,to hear his new TITAN cartridge.It was immediately clear to me that there was a subtle grain riding with the music.A vta adjustment solved it.If I hadn't been so fanatical with my Graham's signature,I don't think we would have taken care of the problem as quickly as we did.You will learn to identify this groove distortion in other systems.It won't make you popular with some of your less critical audio friends,but,you will know the signature sound I'm talking about.As for what I listen for in the music.I have a recordingcalled La FESTE DE LE ANNE(The feast of the ass) on the Harmonia Mundi label.There is a ton of difficult to track stuff on this disc.Difficult to track in the way the timbres should sound.There is a hand held shaker of tiny bells that overwhelm the listening area when all is right.These tiny bells should sound almost like a series of tiny metallic bubbles,shimmering with a real dynamic of their own. They must sound like metal,not,glassy,or the dialing in,is off.I,also,listen to a Melodya(EMI) recording of Rachmaninov's VESPERS.This has TONS of complex male and female chorus that can be VERY demanding of tracking.It should sound clean with a real sense of hall,and vocal naturalness.Hard to describe.This may sound crazy,but,you want to shoot for a subtle degree of what I call RESONANT LIFE in the arm's set-up.You can easily damp this down too much to cover up distortions.OR,you can make it sound too brittle and hard.What you want is a Resonant Glow from your system.There should be a real dynamic"jump"that cames from having the arm's parameters set.The fluid level is of Paramount importance here.If you want to control resonance and want a bit of undershoot in fluid,which will give the most openness,but can sound too bright and hard if too little is used,you can add a bit of downforce or lower vta slightly.YOU must experiment.A LOT.There is no other way.I have an album of hand bell music which is useful here.It is called The Pealing Bells of The Weatminster Handbell Choir.Great stuff.Gorgeous music.If you have ever been to a hand bell choir concert you will be able to dial in,with the arm,a metallic glow that should jump up the walls of your listening room.This should also be accompanied by an ultra delicacy,that is gorgeous to hear.Well I'm sorry for BLOVIATING. Hope you find this helpful!
Crikey sirspeedy, your posts are dense reading.
A few paragraphs would help your loyal readers. A space after a period and a comma too.
Do you realise there is at least one blind reader here who uses software to "read" the post and then convert it to speech? This software needs to see the space character after the commas and periods to recognize the natural break and insert a pause.
I know we all have our own writing styles, but please think about it.
Not dense, but informative, and spot-on from my experience. Metralla, I sympathize with your plight but, in fairness, I'm not sure anyone can be expected to write in a form accpetable to a speech converter.
I was the one who started this thread topic back on 9/30/04. Many responded, but it was SirSpeedy who rose to the occasion and has developed the most informative and detailed analysis regarding this tweak. My hat's off in tribute, SirSpeedy.
This 'tweak' - damping fluid amount, can make or break the Graham for many people, it seems. Thank goodness we have this venue, Audiogon Forums, to make known this all too important factor. I wonder if too little information about this point is also included with the new Phantom.
Not dense, but informative, and spot-on from my experience
Agreed. I like the content but not the formatting. Do we write to be read?
For your edification,I simply wanted to be helpful,regarding the topic.I wrote this info out last night, and my daughter accidentally erased it.So,I spent a good time, in the A.M. re-writing it,as both my wife and daughter were,literally,dragging me off the computer,to go to brunch.I am no typist, and I did not have time to proof my copy,due to having my hair pulled!I do notice quite a few errors in my copy,but,it's just "tough luck"if you don't like it.What are you,my third grade teacher?The info I listed took me about an hour to keyboard in,and,can be fully understood.More importantly,it is ACCURATE!I really do have to learn to create paragraphs etc;but, I suggest, for those that are bothered,don't read my posts!Sorry for being so defensive here.I knew that if I responded to this particular subject,it would take me a really long time.I even debated whether to respond,due to the length necessary to cover it.It would have been longer,with more annoying grammatical errors,if it was not for the fact that my family wanted sustenance.For those that can get something out of it,I'm REALLY happy.For everyone else,sorry to inconvenience you!By the way,Metralla,I assume the "OLD", Super Small format of the early Absolute Sound would have bothered you too.
Please don't come down so hard on me. I enjoy your posts very much, and am grateful for your presence here. I am not your third grade teacher - I am one of your loyal readers.
I always read your posts and have often wondered about your writing style, and have thought about making this suggestion before (use paragraphs, more white space etc). This particular post is the longest one of yours I've read, and I decided to speak up.
I have all The Absolute Sounds.
Thanks for the informative post SirSpeedy. I spent all day yesterday dialing in the loading on my cartridge, and I now need to tweak the arm itself. I will use your guidelines to start that process. Already I am impressed with the sound of the arm especially in the bass register.
I am looking forward to keeping this arm for a long time. You know, "THE FINAL TURNTABLE". hahaha. I have said that before, but this Teres with the Graham arm may fill the bill.
BTW. I have some of the old style, clear silicone fluid. Should I be ordering the new blue fluid since I am starting this process from scratch? Will there be any major improvement, or is blue just the color of the day?
I was told by Bob Graham that the blue fluid (if you can call it a fluid!) is the result of refined development and is superior to the older clear fluid. He mentioned the viscosity and breakdown properties being better. Never compared the two, though.
Metralla,sorry for being so obnoxious,in my response.I am a "one finger at a time typist",though getting better.I will try to learn a bit more as you seem sincere.Originally,I thought you were putting me on.The thing is that I got so excited about sharing this info I just started to fly on the keyboard(slowly)without thinking.Also,to be criticized,after putting in such an effort,with the nagging of my family to "get off the computer,and take us out to eat"really rubbed me the wrong way!But,that's the past!..........As for any ego, for readership,though the responses are a true compliment,and,I appreciate them,I was only concerned with the RESULT,of other hobbyists gaining REAL pleasure,from what took me eons to learn............Bfuerher,I have a dear friend that has an,almost,exact system as mine.We do our tweaking together,for comparative results.The "Blue" fluid IS DEFINITELY superior.No contest,actually.Also,for those with a 2.0,the upgrade to the 2.2(which I did)is FAR superior to the 2.0.Also,very easy to do,and not expensive..........I suspect(just my opinion here)the Phantom is not as critical to fluid level,since the literature claims that the magnet assembly aids "damping".I don't like this,as I feel the tuneability of the 2.2(once understood)is a REAL ADVANTAGE.Also,as I understand it, the Phantom is a MUCH more massive design.Since I have a cartridge weighing only 7gms.I like the idea of putting less mass(arm/cart.)over the groove.The benefit of this is mentioned on,both,the Van den hul,and, Air Tangent web-sites.Though,for heavier cartridges,the Phantom is probably the way to go(lets see some"REAL" reviews).Enough with the endless quantities of pages,every issue, of recommended components.This takes copy away from "real" issues.I'm not holding my breath!!Anyway,the 2.2 is a rediculously good arm.Why do you think Graham kept it in production?
I like to offer my school boy explanation. The fluid level is critical because it affect the sonic energy resonates and dissipates from the tonearm. For bearing tonearms such as gimbal and unipivot, the bearing friction is critical. Remember your good old school days, when you drag your finger nails across the black board, the screechy noise frequencies depend on the pressure on your finger nails and the dryness (friction coeficient) of the board. Frictionless tonearms don't have this problem but they have problem with stability.
Sirspeedy's post (and David's) are right on the money. It is well worth anyone's time to fiddle with the damping fluid levels on a Graham 2.2.
After reading Sirspeedy's and David's post a while ago, I played with the damping fluids and was rewarded with some stunning improvements in detail, dynamics and bass attack/control/tunefulness.
Rgds & Thanks again to Sirspeedy & David,
Do you change the fluid level for each record? Or once you get fluid level, VTA, and weight where you want them for your most challenging record do you just leave them there?
I hope you are kidding!I use a series of records with complex,and difficult to track material.I also use some discs that have a variety of different instruments,showing off their timbres and harmonics.The most difficult thing to get right is CORRECT timbres and harmonics.That is when you know the arm is "RIGHT".Forget about setting up for percussion,as it can fool you into thinking you have it.
Once you have spent a few listening sessions, and are happy with the results,there is no need to "FOTZ" around anymore.Of course unless your audio pals are like mine.Never happy!!
If you changed the fluid level on a Graham 2.2 for every record you could only spin 1 or 2 records a day. It is a potentially messy process that must be done with considerable patience and care. If you only have one pair of hands it may take 5-10 minutes per change, and if you're using the (reportedly superior) new blue fluid it takes hours to settle in thoroughly, as sirspeedy has explained.
I admire your spirit and dedication though. You're even more insane than I am, and that takes some effort!
Once you find the right fluid level there's no reason to change it until you change cartridges. Each cartridge requires its own unique level. Even the three similarly compliant ZYX cartridges we listened to on Cello's Graham performed best when damping fluid was fine tuned for the individual cartridge.
Doug and sirspeedy. Thanks for the answers. It was a little tonge-in-cheeck but I wanted to check for asking the next question.
sirspeedy said: "VTA/downforce/Fluid level all work in conjunction with one another." I do understand this is true and how the mechanics work.
What I don't understand is how once you get these three perfect for one record they can be perfect for the next record. To state the obvious, record thicknesses vary dramatically as do the original cutting angles. If VTA is different on the second record, the combination of VTA/downforce/fluid will be different.
I have no doubt that sirspeedy achieved the results he said with the method he said. Would it be correct to conclude that once VTA/downforce/fluid are dialed in for one record (your most difficult) that it will be dialed in for all records (within reason) with a Graham? I imagine it is possible that if VTA/downforce/fluid reach some "golden ratio" that altering VTA may actually make things worse.
Everyone, can you give a few examples of the LP's you used for this tweaking? How dependant on the cartridge in use is the "correct" amount of dampening fluid? If I set up for a 103R and then change to something with more compliance, will I need to re-do the fluid level?
I don't doubt sirspeedy's statement, based on much longer damping experiments than mine, that these adjustments interact to some degree. Certainly VTF and VTA do. To "perfectly" adjust one parameter you need to have the other two optimized as well. But in the end damping should be much more stable over time than VTF, and VTF is much more stable from record to record than VTA.
To my ears, adjusting damping in the Graham emphasized or de-emphasized different parts of the frequency spectrum, probably because different damping amounts attenuated different resonance frequencies within the arm/cartridge system. The sonic changes from adjusting VTA or VTF are very different from that, and from each other too for that matter. For this reason it seems right to me to make these three adjustments as follows:
Adjust for the cartridge. Once you find the right amount it shouldn't need further adjustment unless the cartridge behavior changes (eg, with break in) or you switch cartridges. Silicone is a very stable material. Its behavior should be little affected by the temperature and humidity swings in most listening rooms.
Adjust for the cartridge and then for the atmospheric conditions that effect compliance and tracing ability. The elastomers that make up cartridge suspensions behave far more chaotically than silicone when subjected to temperature and humidity changes. A materials scientist will groan in despair if you ask for predictions (trust me, I have and he did). Therefore, changes in weather require frequent changes to VTF but have much less affect on damping fluid.
VTA (SRA, please!)
Adjust for the record if you like. As you said, every record was cut at its own particular angle. Emulating that angle during playback brings out the best from that record. Because the large proportion of SRA adjustments involve keeping the arm at the same angle relative to the (changing) vinyl, the net effect on VTF is minimal. I do change SRA for every record. I change VTF much less often, typically a little more at the start of a session and perhaps a little less after several sides have warmed the cartridge up.
You guys really are getting the hang of it.Obviously quite a few already know a great deal.
As for me,and my habits,I dial in a wide variety of program material,over quite a few listening sessions.When I am satisfied I go back to the most troubling discs,to re-hear them (some discs just plain suck,and you have to be able to realize when to give up and move on).
I do not overly concern myself with the fact (correctly stated)that the fluid must settle over time.If I did wait, the results from tweaking would not be remembered easily,and the difference is not really all that great.A wait of only 5 minutes will tell you all you need to know!
Other than that, Doug is on the money!!The only thing I want to stress is that you don't have to feel as though you have to continuously play around with this thing.You definitely will,and must,in the beginning,but that is to get the feel for the differences the three parameters each contribute.Once you are in the "Close to Being Right" zone,you may only need to dial in one parameter.
Technically, the VTA can be changed for each record,but,to me that is rediculous (unless you have an arm,like the mega-buck Air Tangent,with electronic/remote VTA adjustment).Boy would I love that!!
I would have to assume that it would simply be a matter of common sense, when we change to a different cartridge.I would certainly have to re-dial new parameters,but,at this point you already have a real feel for what you want.
As for the effect of the VTA/Damping/Downforce being adjusted in conjunction with one another.They definitely affect one another.To play around(within safety parameters)a bit here will only make you a better set-up person for this arm.Obviously, once you learn how each of the three variable parameters effect the music on hand(there better be plenty of different musical stuff here)you don't have to get too "NUTS" with dialing in all three, everytime you want to illicit a amall change. One thing,for sure,is that a difference of 1/100 of a gram in downforce can make a huge difference in sound.
In summary, I just want to state that my approach is not something written in stone!! I don't like to overdampen,by adding too much fluid.In some set-ups a bit more fluid than I like may be better.What I try to do is go a bit under(just a little) the smoothest resulting fluid level.This to me,as I've mentioned,gives the most open and dynamic sound,but you really have to be careful not to bring out the potential "BRIGHTNESS" that can be a result,if you aren't careful.To counteract any overly bright sound or hardening,from going(just a "smidgen")light on fluid,and as long as you are not at the top of the manufacturers recommendation for downforce, you should(at least I do)add a very small amount of additional downforce.This seems to stabilize the tracking and keeps resonance at a minimum.
If this does not work for me,than I need to add just a TINY bit more fluid,and decrease the downforce to my original point,to hear for that setting.Always you can,also,at any point,ply around with the VTA as an alternative to any of the above,BUT,you WILL KNOW THAT ALREADY,if you don't accept "good enough is fine" performance.I don't.
I promise you this is my last thought here.When I speak to the downforce amounts I adjust to,I'm talking about no more than 1/100 of a gram at a time.Sometimes I move the adjustment so little,that there is no reading on my stylus force guage,but I hear it,and,NO I do not check my stylus force guage for every adjustment.You won't have to either,once you get the feel of all this.At the end (yes there is an end)I check my guage to make sure I'm tracking at a safe setting.I'm now at a point where I'm done tweaking my system,thank goodness.So what is my reward? I just had my table updated,just to come back to me with a faulty motor.Now, an additional month,at least.This hobby really "SUCKS" sometimes!!!
Sorry! I forgot to mention a key point,that will let you know you are really close to optimum, in set up.That is the way "Acoustic Bass" (double bass instruments)should sound when you have gotten into the "ZONE".I was content with a close approximation of what I thought was fine until I brought some of my discs to my friend,who owns the Air bearing arm.He happens to be a firm believer in NO damping.He chose the Air Tangent for this reason.
What I heard(this was the main reason I started to play around,in the first place)was "Real" visceral impact from "Very Lightly Plucked Notes" on side #2 of the EMI recording of Ida Haendal performing Sibelius violin music.There are some beautiful interwoven lines of music on three tracks,after the Violin Cto. has ended.These consist of softly plucked double bass that I was not coming close to getting.
I told my friend of my frustration and since he is the opposite of almost all Ego Driven Magazine types I've met(he did write the Mercury column in TAS) he suggested,actually demanded he come over to my place and listen.Since he does not own my stuff all he said when leaving was," the performance I was looking for was potentially there,but it was up to me to learn how to get to it".This guy NEVER tells anyone to "go buy new stuff" and he is the most critical listener I know.He also knows how these damn records should sound since he has the first pressing of almost anything.Classical or Jazz,with some cute different stuff thrown in.He's my YODA!
Getting back to the double bass issue.Even at low level,as opposed to low volume,once you have the fluid level "Right" you will hear a real sense of "SNAP".That is the only way I can describe it.When fingers are plucking, it will sound slightly "Muddled" if there is too much fluid.When you have reached the correct point there will be a sense of a bit more depth to the bass,and more ambience to the space where the event was recorded.This is when you crack open the bottle of "GOOD STUFF".You're done!
Only because I felt I had good equipment,and could get more from it(after hearing a superior set-up)was I willing to get this OBSESSED with this detail.I'm sure my tennis pals would never understand why I was putting in this kind of time on a dumb tweak,when I should be practicing my serve.
Only because I had a really great friend with a superior set-up(and was open minded enough to admit it to myself)and he knows the sound of what is on these discs, for what they should sound like,and honestly told me to save my money(when I was unhappy)and keep trying,did I decide to get "ADMITTEDLY, OVER THE TOP OBSESSED" that I'm sure you all must think I am.But,I did learn something.I'm never going to take anything this far again.My arms hurt from holding that bearing so still,and my eyes ache from watching out, to make sure the fluid doesn't leak into the outer assembly.
If I had not done all this I probably would have found a way to ratioalize my sound.At least I know for sure I'd have had a much better serve!
sirspeedy and Doug, Thanks for the details in your procedures. I now see that both methods are variations on the same theme and pointing in the same direction.
sirspeedy, I very much enjoyed the Mercury man parable. My friend told me years ago when I was going to a highend store, "If you want to save a lot of money and a lot of time, don't listen to the good stuff." And thanks for the paragraphs!
Did you ever get your Graham to the point of the same level of lack of grain that your friends Air Tangent has?
I (and others I suspect) would be interested as to just how sirspeedy makes those micro changes in the damping fluid level. The blue goop is messy stuff in my hands!
Type anyway you like. Your info is worth parsing.
I hope I'm about done adding to this thread.This is a
popular arm,so I guess it isn't a wasted effort.Now you see why I was so pissed off with the mainstream audio press for not EVER mentioning any of this stuff.Arthur Salvatore sure has my devoted respect!!
Sbrown,Although there has been statements to the slight colorations in the Air Tangent design,my friend took it to the extreme and replaced the standard compressor with his dentists commercial unit.I can hear the laughter.I did too, when he told me of his decision,and I saw it(looking exactly like a motor boat engine,in his spare room).However this allowed more pressure to be applied to the bearing,in effect stiffening it.This cancelled out any colorations and really improved the bass and mid bass.I really don't think any arm can match this level of performance.
As for the 2.2 I am really,so happy with the current performance that I don't care about attaining that last degree my friend has.However when I go to his home I immediately hear that "Breathy Ambient Glow" the Air design affords.Remember,there is NO resonant bearing characteristic that has to be "STROKED".I know some other pivot designs don't have the need for bearing damping,but IMO only,since I am no expert,they also have their own issues.Anyway,at this point I really think this is an advantage of the 2.2!!Tuneability to the max!!
The best way to improve our systems,and I've seen descriptions of many of your set-ups,that look GREAT,and probably sound as well,is to hear other hobbyists' rigs.Live music is essential,but since we know it cannot be reproduced,how would you begin to suspect that something like tweaking out a resonant characteristic would help your own sound,if you didn't hear it elsewhere!
Cjsmithmd, I should have mentioned this,but,my way doesn't have to be exclusively adhered to.I carefully unscrew the bearing cap and place it down,with the fluid facing up,obviously.Then,since I work with such small amounts of fluid,I allow a pinhead's amount to be picked up(from the syringe) with a needle tip or pin.Sometimes I've been lazy and used my wife's bobby pin tips.There were times when my "always hyper-critical" pals showed up where I had to improvise, on the fly,during a listening session,and have used other pointy articles.It is up to you.Just take it off the end of the syringe(sp?).Even if you squeeze out just a light bubble of the stuff.This way you are assured of working with small and exact quantities.Also,REMEMBER to hold the bearing in place for about a minute or two,exactly over the fluid housing,so as not to drip any residue into the arm assembly,or you will hate me!All in all,it is really not hard to work with.I used to "HATE" to touch my stuff,and my sound suffered.
Oh,yeah!!You put the fluid on the tip of the bearing,you have just taken off,that is now facing up.This is for fine tuning.Originally the fluid is squeezed into the bearing well at the pivot.Don't overfill this.
First, many thanks to sirspeedy for the typing upgrade. 15 paragraphs in two posts, wow! Seriously, your always valuable content is much easier to read. Go ahead, blush!
Remote control VTA, wouldn't that be nifty? It really doesn't take much time on a TriPlanar or JMW though. Once you know the right setting for a record you can dial it in while the TT is spinning up. Real time loss is virtually zero. It's not so good on a Graham 2.2 because the arm height adjustment lacks adequate resolution.
Back to topic. It's not surprising that damping acts differently on a Graham vs. your friend's AirTangent (or my TriPlanar). Their damping devices are so different mechanically that you wouldn't expect similar sonic effects.
I'm not surprised your AirTangent friend prefers no damping. We don't use it on the TriPlanar either. The damping troughs on these arms are well away from the pivot point, which means the greatest effect of damping is to present resistance to lateral arm movement in response to cantilever deflections. This resistance must feed back to the cartridge and affect the way the cantilever acts in the suspension. The sonic effects seem detrimental IME and apparently in your friend's also.
OTOH, the damping on a Graham 2.2, Basis Vector and other unipivots is concentrated at the pivot point. Depending on the size of the bearing surfaces, it has a negligible effect on lateral arm motion. What it does is dampen arm and bearing resonances at certain frequencies. The damping on an AirTangent or TriPlanar does not dampen resonances very much because the fluid is not in contact with the arm very much, nor with the bearing at all.
With an Airy 3 on Cello's Graham 2.2, a little too much damping started to kill the HF's. Backing it off by even a pinhead made the highs zippy and immediately killed some of the bass. We could not find a happy medium with that combination in his (strongly dynamic) system (in a bright room).
With an Airy 2 the sweet zone for damping was sufficiently broad that we had room to tune it, a pinhead or two this way or that, without feeling like we were giving up anything. We achieved full dynamics with no loss of HF control, full bass without bloat. This was a happier setup, again possibly due the overall characteristics of his system and room.
As you observed, fluid level, the VTF and VTA affect the sonic quality. The tough music passages on the record put more pressure on the stylus than lighter passages. Therefore, the correct setting for complex music passage may not be desirable for lighter music passage.
That is rediculous!Once you have the setting maxed out,and can track complex and difficult passages,anything else should be cake!Remember,what you are looking for is MAXIMUM retrieval of timbre,and harmonics.These fall into place when all else is obtained.At that point tracking is precise,and superb.You should,also have total consistency from one type of music to the next.Unless you want to get a bit NUTS with making changes for different discs.I don't.I mean I want to spend my time listening to music,not errors in set-up.
I think some of you are "Thinking This to Death" a bit.
Just try playing around for a few listening sessions.Then report back.Or better yet,forget about this thread and enjoy your music!!I know I will when my table comes back.
I am grateful that your table has been out of your hands for a while. Otherwise, you would not have had the time to write all you have in the last couple of weeks or so and we would not have the benefit of your experience and insights.
Nice job on your posts and thanks for the time and effort you put into them.
Thanks for the gratitude! Believe me,it has been my great pleasure to discuss this matter. Nobody,and I have many audio friends,some owning 2.2's,some JMW,Air Tangent,Immedia etc.Nobody helped me as I am the only guy in my little club that has 16.00 in tolls to get to my house,so visits are not too frequent.
That is one reason I am so down on the "audio experts" in the highly visible press.They are,to a great degree,just "FREAKIN'" hobbyists,like you and me.They are taken way too seriously.This topic should have been discussed on plenty of occassions in the mags!As John Belushi would have said "But,NOOOO!" these guys are to busy shilling stuff they really know little about other than they "WANT" it at a discount.Why do you think someone becomes an audio journalist( I know quite a few,at arms length,thank GOD).For the salary,ha! My pal YODA made dreck as a reviewer.He did it out of "LOVE" for the music/hobby.He owns 22 year old speakers that today's "YUPPIE Young Pishers" would not look at,to their loss.
Larry,Doug,and the rest of those whose set-ups I've seen descriptions of.If you really think what you own is not at least 98.787% of the "reviewers choice" stuff It's time to take up photography or better yet,tennis,as I'll be moving to Florida in 2 years.We can have a good hit.
I recently went to two high line audio homes in NYC.One a rich hobbyist with too much money.Never keeping anything long enough to learn how to set it up properly.300,000.00 worth of,literally, the worst sound I've ever heard.I took a day off in anticipation.I left about 45 minutes later.The reference material? KODO drums!!MAN!!
A week later I was at a former high line audio mag reviewer's home.This was only 250,000.00 worth of stuff.This guy LOVED himself.I wouldn't dare to mention what I owned.He would have sneered me out of his "Robbon Chair".Truthfully,it did sound good,but had the worst mid bass bloat I had ever heard in any set-up.This is a person recommending to us,the masses,how we should spend our money!!My pal,YODA,with a set-up averaging about 10 years old per unit,has IMO Dead Perfection in virtually every area I can think of.Why?He could care less about "BUZZ" stuff.His own set of standards are unwavering.
I hope I'm not coming off like I myself am some kind of self important snob.I know nothing.Then I see true experience,like my pal Sid.I do know that there are "TONS" of GREAT set-ups out there.I've heard alot.I love all different types of audio presentations in differing systems.There is no such thing as a reviewers choice,just a hobbyists personal prefference.
Doug,as for your comments about the "lack of resolution" in the Graham's VTA adjustment,compared to the Wheaton.I owned a Wheaton for 4 years.You do realize the Graham's scale is set for much smaller adjustments(as in more precise).Think LEICA here.There should be NO problem when adjusting on the fly,if everything is set properly.
Also,Doug--That really was great stuff on the damping differences in different arms.You really are a true "expert",and it is obvious.I'm serious!!
Where do you live now (city?) and to what part of Florida are you planning to move (assuming that you were serious) ?
Larry. I currently reside in NJ.My parents,in-laws,and a multitude of cousins all reside in "DOLPHINS" Country.I plan to move to the Southern FLA. region some time in the next 2 to 3 years,at the latest.I'll always be a JET fan though!!
Also.I realize I've done way too much "Bloviating" and bashing of some "Connected" and/or industry types.I really got too carried away with this.I have a big mouth,and should have shut up!!I'm really sorry!!Someone on another post,very politely mentioned that I seemed to be harboring a hidden agenda.Looking at that thought,I have to agree and feel like a "YUTZ"!!Who the heck am I anyway?Maybe I'm suffering from analog withdrawal!!
Larry,My pal (AIR TANGENT) just had his second Titan cartridge failure in one year.He's pretty bummed out and told me this eve. that he is going to start considering alternatives.He has good experienced friends to aid him here.I did,however,give him a big pitch on the ZYX-Univ. that you are raving about.
What he asked me was, what were the previous cartridges you have owned.I had sent him copies of the Arthur Salvatore comments,and this peaked his interest,however he is a VERY sceptical person.Especially when it comes to new "RAVE" products.I did my best to peak his interest,but he has his own methodology that I don't dare to mess with.
Please do not have anyone try to send any e-mails or any sales pitches.I know you love the UNIV. and I totally believe what you hear,as you describe it.This is just the way it has to be, for me to simply give to him another "VALID" alternative to those cartridges that are considered "REAL FRONTRUNNERS".He has lots of friends with alot of experience in vinyl,but,the ZYX stuff is new to us,and I'm giving the UNIV.a real pitch that has his interest somewhat peaked.
So,as I originally stated could you list those cartridges that preceeded it.Anyone else owning the ZYX stuff,please list previous cartridges if you care to.Thank you all very much!!
Please let me know when you finally make your move to South Florida or you are down here for a visit.
I was a dyed in the wool Jet fan growing up and when I arrived in Florida. I remained a huge Jet fan for a couple of years, but the Jet fans down here were such a turn off (quite different than the N.Y. / N.J. fans) and the Dolphins were such a great organization to follow, that I have been a die hard Dolphin fan for the past 25 years.
In my system I have owned or heard the following cartridges (on my Graham 2.2, listed in an increasing order of preference):
Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum
(Special note...the Airy2 was my preference over the Airy3. The Airy3 had much more detail and dynamics but was a bit too bright in my system/room.
There are plenty of people that prefer the Airy3 to the Airy2. My room being too bright made for not a good paring with the dynamic Airy3. Getting to work on my room is my next major project to get settled.
In addition, the Airy2 was a major upgrade over my wonderful Koetsu RSP but the UNIverse is, well
.. several stratospheres up from the Airy2.
I hope the Doug Deacon weighs in here as well, but I would tell you that I am yet to find another person who did not think that the UNIverse was the best cartridge that they had heard by a wide margin.
I would be happy to speak with your friend. Email me off line and we can organize that if he has an interest.
I recently went to two high line audio homes in NYC.One a rich hobbyist with too much money.Never keeping anything long enough to learn how to set it up properly.300,000.00 worth of,literally, the worst sound I've ever heard.
I've met one of that type, and the one I met is also greedy and refuses to accept responsibility for his own (often poor) choices. He's also a manipulative back-stabber. Larry has recently been given the "opportunity" to meet him, an opportunity he should miss IMO.
Doug,as for your comments about the "lack of resolution" in the Graham's VTA adjustment,compared to the Wheaton.I owned a Wheaton for 4 years.You do realize the Graham's scale is set for much smaller adjustments(as in more precise).
FWIW, here's what I remember.
One revolution = .7mm in height change
40 point dial = .0175mm per point
The dial is large enough to accurately interpolate 5 positions per point, so .0035mm per interpolation
Graham 2.2 (numbers from memory, please correct me if wrong)
One revolution = 1.0mm in height change
24 point dial = .041666mm per division
The dial is smaller but one can accurately interpolate 2
positions per point, so .0208333mmm per interpolation
.041666/.0175 = 2.38
.0208333/.0035 = 5.95
Therefore, the TriPlanar VII's height adjustment has at least 2.38x the resolution of the Graham 2.2's, and nearly 6x the resolution if you give the TriPlanar credit for its larger, easier-to-read scale. My ears and Paul's subjectively confirm this, the Graham dial requires noticeably smaller movements to hit the sweet spot.
I can only echo Larry's enthusiasm, though I've only heard it directly against the cartridges on his list. Larry, didn't you hear others in that audio club meet you travelled to last month?
Of the four serious audiophiles who've heard mine two have already bought one, the third is saving his pennies, the fourth is crying because he may never be able to afford one.
The three buyers include Larry and a mutual friend who has the quickest ears and lowest tolerance for colored components of anyone I know. He listened to our UNIverse for 5 or 6 hours and commented that it did nothing wrong. That didn't sound like much, but his friend almost choked on his coffee. In 15 years this guy has apparently never heard a component for more than a few minutes without noticing a flaw. Three weeks later, after hearing a UNIverse in another system, he broke down and bought one. He's mentioned it once or twice on VA. Search for UNIverse! or UNIverse!! and you'll find him. Pretty amusing, since he's the most sceptical audiophile I've met.
His friend is the one saving his pennies. He's a broadcast engineer and custom builds or mods amps and preamps, some of the best, most neutral sounding gear I've heard at any price.
These two guys are the polar opposite of your typical, brand-happy, star-struck audiophile. They know what they hear and they understand why they hear it and how to make it better. They both fell in love with the UNIverse.
I'll be posting a review in a week or so. Short version: close your eyes and you'll see live musicians in your listening room.
Doug it was not my intention to get into a Julian Hirsch "you show me your spec,and I'll show you mine" disagreement.Both arms can resolve what I wanted.Who cares if one requires my finger to move another 1/2 inch.I'm in shape!The Tri-Planer had "PLAY" in the vta adjustment.Even though I was able to adjust without the use of the "Useless" scale markings,it was still a great arm.
The Graham requires utmost "ideal" damping accuracy to get anything right.To me this is "NOW" not a problem.I like the Graham better.Others like other arms.I have a friend who just replaced his Graham with the new "longer" JMW.He is as in the clouds over it's superiority, over the Graham as Larry is with the UNIV.This all means nothing,since everything is subjective.Heck,I'd trade my 2.2 in a heartbeat for a KUZMA AIRLINE or AIR TANGENT(with motor boat sized dentist office pump only).
Larry,thanks for coming off as such a good guy.
Doug,don't think I'm trying to be argumentative.
It's not either of your faults that the Jets kick Dolphin butt every year.Sorry,that is the only point that is "NOT SUBJECTIVE"!!
The Jets have had a good current run, but they did spend an inordinate amount of time on the short end of the stick a while back as I recall.
Based on the behavior of the Miami/South Florida Jets fans, I would not be so quick if I were you to be associated with the Neanderthal Jet Fans down here (I apologize to all Neanderthals since equating Miami based Jet fans to Neanderthal is an insult to all Neanderthals). I am quite shocked to find out that there is such a thing as a Jet Fan /Audiophile in existence (you must be rare enough to be a collectors item). I thought that being a Jet Fan and being an audiophile would mutually exclusive, but God Bless your pointed little head.
Doug was not being argumentative, he was just trying to be specific and helpful. Doug does not live in Florida and not a Dolphin (nor Jet) fan. You can focus your Jet bravado singularly towards me. I just love the abuse.
All the above is said in jest, except my apology to the Neandrethals for which I was being sincere.
There was only one other cartridge that was used besides the UNIverse in the January get together. I could not remember it and that is why I did not mention it in my previous post. It was quite a good cartridge, but the UNIverse was superior.
I will make a call and get its name and post it here.
The ZYX UNIverse cartridge is a superb cartridge. It has detail without edginess; it has extraordinary resolution, tonal balance and the ability to place instruments in an orchestra right where they should be. Listening to acoustic music and vocalists on it is just sheer pleasure.
I run this on a Tri-Planar VII arm mounted on a Kuzma Stabi Reference TT. The electronics are VAC Renaissance Signature Mk II preamp and VAC Renaissance Signature 70/70 Amp, which drives a pair of Verity Audio Lohengrin speakers in a reasonably large room.
If you have very good components, I think the UNIverse will simply astound you.
I hated the 3 Jet games that I took my son to last year.Fans urinating in the garbage cans of the men's room.Fans "CONSTANTLY" getting up,in the middle of the action,for beer.I now stay home in my warm PJ's instead of freezing my ass off.I love the team,but was not wild about the fans either.
I did not take DOUG's comments as argumentative.He seems to be quite knowledgeable and was voicing an opinion.He also seems to be quite an engaging fellow,with a sense of humor.
Raul,also voices his opinions,and has knowledge of much in this hobby,as well.I could never understand why some are so mean spirited towards him.So what if someone doesn't agree with a comment!I don't agree with everything I read here,but everyone has their own perspective.In the case of Raul,I get the impression that he really LOVES to stay on top of these threads and gets into trouble sometimes because of innocent enthusiasm.
I have a problem keeping my own inner feelings to myself,regarding the "MANY" ego driven,selfish,full of "CRAP" types that I have met over the years.The problem belongs to me only,and I should,will, just "SHUT UP" from now on.I am nobody to judge anyone's motives,as long as they don't intrude upon me!!
Vac man,could you,please list the cartridges that you have previously owned.Thanks.This will be very useful to me as I am currently recommending the UNIV. to a VERY sceptical,and suspicious of "THE LATEST BREAKTHROUGH PRODUCT" friend.
He has been around the block too many times to get too excited about the numerous breakthroughs this hobby spews out regularly.I myself believe this cartridge to,probably,be the real deal!!
Previous high-end cartridges either owned or heard on my system include Shelter 901, Lyra Helikon and Koetsu Urushi (older version with the alnico magnet). Each of these cartridges was excellent and had its own sonic benefits and shortcomings. None put everything together like the ZYX UNIverse. It is the real deal. If you're in the NYC area and would like to listen to it, let me know. I live in Westchester County.
Dear Doug: ***** " . Short version: close your eyes and you'll see live musicians in your listening room. " *****
This is the only way ( close your eyes ) that you can " see " that and that is the wrong way to evaluate any audio item: do you stay with your eyes closed when you are in a live concert or in a jazz night club ?
When you close your eyes you can imagine anything but for you or anyone is almost imposible to do a serious evaluation of an audio item or audio system hearing with " close eyes ".
Regards and enjoy the music.
Sirspeedy I would never have known about the critical nature of the damping fluid without your comments and I thank you. And Doug your comments, especially those dated 2-15-05 are very helpful. I now have my pre-owned Graham 2.2 on the table with the Airy 2x on the arm. Setup was confidence inspiring. Grahams method of setting cartridge alignment and overhang, as well as pivot to spindle distance are so well thought out and user friendly. I now have no doubts that Ive got it right. However azimuth is a mystery to me, and I dont want to play a record until this is adjusted. Having never owned a unipivot, I have no idea how to know when this adjustment is right. If its only a visual check then Im in trouble since I will never be able to see if the stylus is vertical. I just bought a test record and will read the instructions looking for an azimuth test. Regarding unipivot arms, I had been told they were wobbly and that I might not like that characteristic. I dont but am not sure if mine is ok since its pre-owned. If I knew mine was acting normal Id feel better.
Now about the damping fluid, how do you manage to get a pinhead amount into or out of the well? This stuff is so thick getting such a small amount to come out of syringe is close to impossible. I put in what I think is a little less than the manual calls for (0.75 cc) but when I check the fluid level with the cap it looks like there might be too much. However the manuals description doesnt quite jive with what I see. It says check the fluid level on the small post with the triangular piece on it. The fluid should completely cover this triangular part, but not go much higher up. My post does not have a triangular piece; it has a square post that comes out of the cap and at the end of that is a round post about 4 mm long with a point on the end. Right now the fluid covers the 4 mm of round post and goes up onto the square part for about 2 mm. I think there might be too much fluid in the well for a starting level. I realize the level will be adjusted by ear but it seems this process would be aided by starting at some predetermined level. Sirspeedy may have covered that and Ill review his writings in a minute.
I just went up to check the fluid level as to be sure my memory of where it is on the post was accurate. While doing so it occurred to me one way to remove small amounts of fluid is to take the cap off and let the small drips that come off the post fall into another container, not back into the bearing well.
Im certainly anxious to try my new arm and cartridge but the azimuth adjustment leaves me a little uncertain. Im off to check out the test record.
Hey Doug: Please don't tell me that your opinions/evaluations ( post/answers/threads ) on the audio
subjects were based on " close eyes " estrategy.
I hope not.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul,just when I attempted to defend some of your previous posts as "INNOCENT ENTHUSIASM out of love for this hobby",you go and try to be antagonistic!!What do you expect to get from this type of response?Stay entertaining and informative(I know you've done that in the past),and you will be better off,and respected for contributions to subject matter!!I mean this in the most "POSITIVE" way.I think you are a well meaning hobbyist!!
Jeff,read my previous posts re fluid,etc.
The azimuth can(I did it this way)be done by putting a very small mirror on the platter.Drop the cartridge on this,with the table turned "OFF"!!!Look at the stylus tip,and reflection, from the FRONT.You want to see the angle of the stylus as COMPLETELY VERTICAL...Obviously,if you have a test record you can check for this,or better yet, Graham has a little CHACHKA that plugs in and serves the same purpose.
Any adjustments for azimuth can be made by turning the little side weights,one way or the other,for balance.It's easy and actually fun,especially when you get a handle on everything, and realize that you can adjust your stuff with "CONFIDENCE" that comes from trying for yourself,and learning first hand.
I used to be paranoid about touching my stuff.Later I realized,from trial and error,that I became a pretty good set-up man.Now I won't even have a dealer do my work.No one will be as fanatically careful as me(my own hang up here),and at least I learn about my own equipment that way!!
To save you some time reading every post.On the application of the fluid.The pointy "THINGY" is the bearing.That is attached to a "SQUARE" shaft.Only in the beginning do I "VERY CAREFULLY" put some fluid in the WELL itself.In order to work "PROPERLY" with fluid levels you must think about the "Checking" of fluid like the checking of oil,from your car.The "SQUARE" shaft is where you get your measurement from.You,ultimately,want to START with the fluid about,just under,1/2 the way up the SQUARE shaft.You have to replace(screw) and then take out the bearing shaft(easy to do)for a visual reading.
This can and will take multiple repetitions before you get it right!!It is the ONLY way to really dial in the arm.
At first,when you have shot a small amount of fluid (Small amount,then check "dip stick/shaft)into the actual bearing well, you will have to gauge as to how close you have come to getting it about 1/2 way up the shaft.Just unscrew and check,possibly a few times,until you are close to 1/2.If you go way over,carefully take a Q-tip and clean some out.Be really careful here,you don't want any residue in the well.Also hold bearing in place over the well for about a minute or two so as NOT to leak any fluid in any part of the arm assembly.Sounds hard,but easy!
After that ALL ADDITIONS OR SUBTRACTIONS OF FLUID are made by taking out the bearing shaft and checking for level,based on the sound you are hearing from music in play(here check previous posts).You squeeze, from the syringe,an itsy amt. of fluid,and pick it up with the tip of a pin or toothpick.This is really easy to do.Then carefully apply to the tip of the "UNSCREWED" and facing up bearing tip (THE POINTY TIP
After that screw back the BEARING assembly and listen,as described in previous posts.YOU WILL HAVE TO REPEAT THIS PROCESS QUITE A FEW TIMES before you get it right.
DON'T WORRY.Once you get the hang of it,it is really easy.Also,something I had forgotten to mention earlier.Try to have some audio-pals over when you perform these adjustments.It is advantageous to have extra "CRITICAL" ears on hand.
For any other potential questions,could you PLEASE read previous posts FIRST.I think about everything is covered there.
Doug / Sirspeedy,
The name of the cartridge I heard in January vs the UNIverse was a Lyra Tsurugi (or Surugi...I am not sure of the spelling).
The UNIverse was significantly better than the Tsurugi as well.
Thanks sirspeedy, no further questions (except for one at the end of this post), just want to express my gratitude. You've written volumes here and I appreciate your desire to avoid having to repeat yourself. Its probably obvious Im a novice but I understand what you have just said and its quite helpful. Already knew how to check the level with the dipstick, just wasnt sure what level to start with. Your explanation of how to work from that level is clear. I added a bit more and have it to a good starting point, just below half way up the square shaft. Previously it was just touching the square part (not enough fluid).
I also knew how to adjust azimuth, but was not sure how to see when its right. The mirror idea occurred to me, but using the test record this morning seemed to get it about right. I just tried the mirror and was able to see the stylus didnt look quite vertical so made a fine tuning adjustment. Will test by ear again with the test record. The mirror works well.
Speaking of the test record, I found the inner most tracking ability test gave my setup problems. It was fine with the center and outer ones. Changing the azimuth slightly seemed to help some, but my arm/cartridge still had problems with the tracking ability test closest to the center of the record. The overhang adjustment template that attaches to the cartridge (what a convenient way to make this adjustment) has a choice of two points to line the stylus tip over. Position 1 for the standard Seagrave/Baerwald positions, while 2 is the alternative Loefgren which is said to provide improved overall distortion at the expense of slightly increased peak distortion at the beginning and end of the record. Since I used a point half way between 1 and 2 thinking I might get the best of both, this could have been the cause of the distortion I heard (very noticeable) on the inner test tracking ability test. Ive since moved the stylus tip to position 1 and now the inner-tracking test is handled with no problems. This improvement might also be due to increased damping with the now higher fluid level
Finally one question, is the wobbly nature of the Graham typical of unipivot arms and hence there is probably nothing wrong with mine?
Larry,I'm "SOLD"!!Better pray that this is all confirmed when this "Breakthrough" design,as you infer,starts to get some serious exposure ,other than via the internet.PS-I assume it was you,whom Salvatore was referring to.
I have taken your word on this,as you seem experienced,and sincere, and recommended the lesser models to one friend.He will probably get a zyx 2 or 3.
My "YODA" pal is in BIG TIME with some of the "HOITY TOITY" crowd,who are sceptical about the UNIV. as being the second coming.With these guys,they usually like to knock something they haven't discovered themselves.Especially since this line is controlled by one guy,well intentioned or not.I will get "KILLED" by these guys,if your comments don't pan out in time,as I've done somethimg I've learned not to do.I've created "BUZZ" by someone's(YOURS IN THIS CASE)comments to me.So I may have to move down to FLA. a little earlier than planned if the UNIV. is not the "MEGA" design you and others claim it to be!!
That being said,I do have very good credibility with him,as I have helped him out,in the past,with his own system issues.I'll keep pitching the Univ. if only,at least,for him to take a good look at, before making any final decisions.Although with the limited exposure here,I can't see how this could be done.
The previous offers of other hobbyists allowing an audition are incredibly nice,but unless heard in our own set-ups can't tell much!!
Email me off line with your phone number if you would like me to give you a call.
Larry,thanks,but it would be hard to ascertain the quality of your set-up via tele.Ha!Ha!
I will contact you in the future,should I go down to Florida to visit my parents and inlaws.